Apple Store Frozen in Time

I stumbled across this pictorial recently. It is of an abandoned (circa 2000) Apple Store in Kuwait that’s just been sitting there. It is very interesting to see how Apple’s design philosophy has changed so much over time. For those of you long time Apple users, like myself, this should be very nostalgic.

Photos by Miskan

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NetVibes Digital Life Aggregator

So I discovered NetVibes today. Ok so I didn’t so much discover (as in Christopher Columbus) it, because I’ve known about NetVibes for some time now, but I made the switch from IGoogle(and Google reader) as my DLA/homepage over to NetVibes. NetVibes is a free Digital Life Aggregator, that allows you to organize your entire online life( for the most part) into tabbed pages. Everything from email to blogs to comics and games. Why, might you ask, would such an avid supporter of the googleverse make such a fundamental digital-life change? Well for what I have lost in one click access to all my various google accounts/apps and tools I have gained in recouped time and ease of use. So here are some of the things that made me switch:

Thing number 1: Visual appeal

The flexible layout ie. 2/3/4 column options make visually much easier to canvas all your feeds in a manner that saves time and space. It truly allows you to get all you information at a glance. Plus there’re just more things that can be optimized to better your experience.

Thing number 2: It’s like Google reader and Igoogle smashed into one app.

Netvibes’ layout and navigation is more like igoogle (on steroids), but the functionality and depth of information is more like google reader. Most widgets display up to the last 25 posts from an rss fee, whereas igoogle only allows you a measly 9.

Thing number 3: Sharing stuff

Incidentally, that’s how I first leart of NetVibes, through an invite which included the invitor’s setup for a particular tab. Yes, I was able to, with one click, start using a presetup netvibes page inclusive of cool widgets and feeds already setup by my friend who invited me to test it out. By the way, here’s a link to try net vibes out: http://www.netvibes.com/subscribe.php?preconfig=126efb5c739f8468139e69206b4fe46d

Thing number 4: It’s portable

If one day I decide NetVibes isn’t for me anymore, I can pack up my digital belongings via OPML and move on the the next DLA. Google has been touting the coming of this feature for a long time, but I am yet to see it. Incidentally, had they already done this, it would have made the switch to NetVibes a lot less time consuming.

Thing number 5: Netvibes supports igoogle widgets!

At least so they claim, and we all know how “support” for a 3rd party format can be. Up until writing this posted, I hadn’t tested the feature, but it does exist.

Thing number 6: They’re going social with Netvibes Ginger.

Yes, now it will be a whole lot easier with NetVibes Ginger (now in testing) to share all this wonderful “Funtastimation” that you’ve amassed in all new ways.

So why doesn’t Google just make one even more killer app like Netvibes?

My guess is: 1. They’re working on it and/or 2. The same internal structure which has led to Google’s great success where people take ownership of projects that are their own ideas can sometimes lead to political/bureaucratic slowdowns when it comes time for the company to change direction, shutdown, or merge projects especially if those project leaders have become more influential in the company . and/or 3. We’re so big and have so many things going on right now that this is the least of our issues. Plus, what is a “netvibe” anyways? Who knows. My point is, give Netvibes a chance, you might just like it.

Rf.